Parents and schools must work together, according to survey of parents

27.03.2015

Parents and schools need to work to together to help children achieve their best. This is just one of the findings to come from a survey of parents conducted on behalf of the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee.

The on line survey, undertaken by the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe), sought the views of parents and guardians of school age children.  It asked questions about communication with schools, involvement with the Parent Teacher Council and sought ideas on how schools and parents might work together. In the survey 71% strongly agreed that it is important schools and parents work together. 

The survey provides a small snapshot of parental involvement in school. The majority (56%) of parents completing the survey were from Edinburgh with 22% of those responding having children in independent schools.  

The survey was commissioned to feed into the Committee’s year long work on attainment.   On 31 March 2015 the Committee will explore how parents and schools can work together to help children realise their potential at school. 

Committee Convener Stewart Maxwell MSP said: 

“Parents and guardians play a crucial role in their children’s education and we wanted to hear from them about the part they play in their child’s education. 

“Whilst this is clearly an Edinburgh-centric sample, it paints an important picture about the need for schools and parents to work closer together in order that children can achieve their very best at school. This is something we can all agree is desirable.  

“The survey also reveals that those with children in independent schools find it easier to get information about how their child is progressing than those in state schools. Our Committee will explore whether there are lessons to be learned about keeping parents informed.” 

89% of parents whose children went to independent primary school’s agreed or strongly agreed information helped them support their child’s learning. This compares to 61%of those with children at state primary school. 

Other results from the survey include:

  • 78% of respondents are confident the school will help them with their child’s learning.
  • Around a third of respondents with children in state school’s are actively involved in the parent council compared with only 6% of independent school parents.
  • Communication was a key theme with parents seeking good communication about how their children were progressing.

Background

In January 2015, the Education and Culture Committee began a year-long piece of work looking at the progress being made by the Scottish Government in reducing the educational attainment gap. 

The Committee has undertaken a series of one off evidence sessions on pupil attainment. These have looked at the implications for schools, teachers and pupils following the report by the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce (known as the Wood Commission) as well as the role of the private and third sectors. 

The session on 31 March will be the third evidence sessions and the Committee will hear from:

  • The Scottish Parent Teacher Council
  • National Parent Forum of Scotland,
  • Dr Sarah Morton (Co-Director Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh)
  • Parent Network Scotland

More information about the Committee’s research can be found:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/29800.aspx

The Committee has also begun a short inquiry into the attainment of pupils with a sensory impairment. More information about all of this work can be found on the Committee’s webpages:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/85486.aspx

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